Pocket Monsters THE ORIGIN — Final Impressions

The classic rivalry never gets old

ようこそ! ポケモンせかいへ・・・って、おい!

So I’ve watched the entire four-episode spe­cial a few days ago, some hours after it had aired on TV Tokyo. I did enjoy it and it was a pret­ty good spe­cial, but I was­n’t entire­ly sat­is­fied.

As a fan who is familiar/fond with Pock­et Mon­sters across all con­ti­nu­ities, such as the games, the orig­i­nal Japan­ese ani­me (not the dub), and the var­i­ous dif­fer­ent man­ga adap­ta­tions through­out my entire child­hood, I feel that my opin­ions may be a lit­tle less bias com­pared to Eng­lish fans who’ve only played the games, watched the Eng­lish dubbed ani­me, and read one Poke­mon man­ga (that is, Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial, or Poke­mon Adven­tures as it’s known in the west).

It was a fun lit­tle spe­cial, but it’s total­ly not as good as a Pock­et Mon­sters ani­me should be, and I hope that I’ll help shed some crit­i­cal insight for those who are blind­ly prais­ing the spe­cial.

Look familiar?

Much like the 1997 ani­me, the spe­cial adap­ta­tion begins with an ani­mat­ed vari­a­tion of the Red/Green intro of the games. And just like 1997 ani­me, it’s actu­al­ly a tour­na­ment on tele­vi­sion being watched by an ani­mat­ed adap­ta­tion of Red (in the 1997 ani­me, their adap­ta­tion was called Satoshi, named after the cre­ator of the fran­chise due to Red not hav­ing a canon name at the time).

A boy whose heart burns of a red-hot flame

The Ori­gin ver­sion of Red’s per­son­al­i­ty is almost no dif­fer­ent from his coun­ter­parts across the Poke­mon fran­chise. It’s pret­ty much the same as Satoshi from the 1997 ani­me, Red from Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial, Shuu from Pock­et Mon­sters Get­to Daze!, etc. All of these ver­sions of Red share sim­i­lar per­son­al­i­ty traits and the Red shown here does not break that trend. Clear­ly Ken Sug­i­mori had some sort of offi­cial­ized vision of his per­son­al­i­ty while design­ing the char­ac­ter. The only dif­fer­ence is that this Red does­n’t keep a con­stant Pikachu on his Poke­mon team.

Which is why I find it sil­ly that they cast him with Junko Take­suchi instead of Rica Mat­sumo­to. She does a pret­ty good job here, but see­ing as Red talks like Satoshi (he has the exact same man­ner­isms and speech pat­terns) and Junko pro­vides the same inflic­tion in her voice, he might as well have been voiced by Rica Mat­sumo­to.

There’s an expla­na­tion for his col­or name here, which is an unusu­al name in a region where almost all of its inhab­i­tants have Japan­ese names. His father named him Red because he want­ed his son to grow up to be a man with a heart that burns like red-hot flames. I won­der why Green’s father named him Green?

Red, you thief!

この泥棒!

One of the def­i­nite things about the spe­cial that brought it down were the direct ref­er­ences to the fact that it’s based on a video game, ones that were made in an unnec­es­sary fash­ion. Now, I love nos­tal­gic throw­backs to the Red and Green Ver­sions as much as the next guy, but did they *real­ly* need to do a throw­back to how the play­ers tried to toss Mon­ster Balls at oth­er train­ers’ Poke­mon dur­ing their first go-through of the game? It makes Red look like a com­plete dum­b­ass in the world of Poke­mon, which I’m sure he’s not.

A prop­er way to por­tray a rook­ie train­er would be how the 1997 ani­me han­dled its ver­sion of a begin­ner Red. For­get­ting to weak­en a mon­ster before cap­tur­ing it? Fine. Not even all too savvy about attrib­ut­es and the like? Great, the spe­cial did this too. But think­ing it’s OK to steal anoth­er train­ers’ Poke­mon? NO, that makes the char­ac­ter look stu­pid in con­text of the world rather than just mak­ing a novice mis­take.

And the prop­er way to han­dle direct ref­er­ences to game mechan­ics would be in the style of Poke­mon Spe­cial… as in not ref­er­enc­ing down­right idi­ot­ic aspects that ruin the game-to-ani­me/­man­ga medi­um con­ver­sion.

A champion is not you

こいつは わたしの まご
きみの おさななじみであり
ライバル である

There’s not much to say about Green oth­er than the fact that he’s… exact­ly the same as he is in the games. But he’s a lot less eccen­tric than his coun­ter­part from the orig­i­nal ani­me, Shigeru (named after the man Shigeru Miyamo­to, due to Green not hav­ing a canon name at the time), that’s for sure. And he’s a bit more friend­lier. He does­n’t have the harem of cheer­lead­ers, though.

He’s voiced by Takuya Eguchi. I was­n’t fond of his voice at first — I pre­fer Yuuko Kobayashi’s ren­di­tion of a “Green” char­ac­ter (Shigeru) and he sound­ed rather too old to be 11. But I got used to it. He acts the role well, and I real­ly did­n’t mind that some of the same-aged char­ac­ters from Digi­mon sound­ed like they went through ear­ly puber­ty.

A ONE, A TWO, A THREE -CHOMP- Three.

How many bites does it take to get to the cen­ter of a Hitok­age?

I have to give this spe­cial cred­it for hav­ing this kind of… Gen­er­a­tion I bru­tal­i­ty. We haven’t seen this kind of thing in a Pock­et Mon­sters ani­ma­tion in years.

The shriek­ing.… the shriek­ing…

Breeeeeding

Breeeeed­ing…

Tomokazu Sugi­ta voic­es Takeshi. Need I say more? Yuji Ueda will always have the bet­ter Takeshi voice to me, but Tomokazu Sugi­ta always pro­vides a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance. He made Takeshi sound rather dis­tin­guished and men­tor-like.

YELLING MAKES ME SO EXHAUSTED

Speak­ing of Takeshi, his bat­tle was one of the only bat­tles in this spe­cial that I actu­al­ly liked. It real­ly show­cased how over­whelm­ing the first Gym could be for first-time play­ers who chose Hitok­age. Plus, the vic­to­ry music that played dur­ing Red’s turn­about was pret­ty sweet.

But, one minor gripe: Why are they pant­i­ng? Their Poke­mon are doing the work — the train­ers are just shout­ing com­mands. The only canons where this should ever hap­pen are in series such as Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial or Pock­et Mon­sters RéBURST, where the humans are active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in the bat­tle as much as the Poke­mon. Oth­er­wise it’s rather melo­dra­mat­ic. I can under­stand that they were going for a shounen-ish “con­nec­tion with your part­ner” type of deal, but the exe­cu­tion is sil­ly.

HP Bars + Non-Japanese made-up language

The rest of the bat­tles were pret­ty lack­lus­ter. I have no idea why some peo­ple are prais­ing the bat­tles with­in this spe­cial — it was most­ly a 1HKO-fest of four Poke­mon on Red’s team, lead­ing him to rely on either Lizardon or Thun­ders (the only cosis­tent mem­bers on his team). And the HP bars? I don’t mind incor­po­rat­ing game mechan­ics, but this is an ani­me, and they should go with choic­es that would work well as an ani­me. Lev­els are def­i­nite­ly pos­si­ble as strength CAN be mea­sured (in no way do I agree with a lev­el 100 cap for an ani­me), but HP bars total­ly take away from the sus­pense of a bat­tle. Know­ing that a char­ac­ter is near his/her break­ing point visu­al­ly is a lot more effec­tive than rely­ing on some HP bar on the screen. Also, gameplay/storyline seg­re­ga­tion. What’s next, we’re going to have a bunch of NPCs that pro­vide one-line game­play expo­si­tions? It’s not too bad, but it’s a rather sil­ly choice. Oth­er ani­me adap­ta­tions of JRPGs are a lit­tle more smart in this regard.

And by the way, I hate how the made-up lan­guage from the inter­na­tion­al­ly-poi­soned cur­rent ani­me reared its ugly head into this spe­cial. Why the hell is Hitok­age’s name so fuck­ing long in What­ev­ernese? I know it’s a fan­ta­sy series. I can respect made-up lan­guages like the Hylian lan­guage in The Leg­end of Zel­da, because it was cre­at­ed as a read­able, trans­lat­able lan­guage that the play­er can *under­stand*. The runes here are clear­ly just gib­ber­ish and would have just been bet­ter off being Japan­ese. The Gen I games based their region on an actu­al Japan­ese region and use 円 as the cur­ren­cy mark­er. Why not just use the Japan­ese lan­guage or sim­ply roma­ji? 4Kids aren’t on your back any­more, guys…

Mov­ing on.

MY TEARS T_T

The best part of this spe­cial has to be the sec­ond chap­ter about Karakara and the Poke­mon Tow­er. This sto­ry arc from the games has nev­er been giv­en jus­tice in any adap­ta­tion, ani­me or oth­er­wise, and it was nice to see it being so focused on in this spe­cial. The scene where Karakara bids farewell to the spir­it of its moth­er and helps Red avenge her is just so well-done and exact­ly as I imag­ined in my head­canon (and my planned reboot of the 1997 ani­me in man­ga-form), sans Karakara actu­al­ly join­ing “Red”, which does not hap­pen here.

Shion Town (Laven­der Town) keeps its creepy atmos­phere from the games here, and my favorite NPC line about the white hand being on Red’s shoul­der is kept — with a twist. An even creepi­er twist.

Fuji is a grandbro

Mr. Fuji is a grand­bro

Oh my god. I can’t help but give this spe­cial props for hav­ing so much focus on one of the more inter­est­ing, yet almost nev­er dis­cussed, char­ac­ters from Gen­er­a­tion I — Mr. Fuji. That, and por­tray­ing him in an accu­rate role. His ani­me coun­ter­part from the 1997–1998 Mewt­wo Saga was a real­ly, real­ly inter­est­ing and well-writ­ten char­ac­ter with a great back­sto­ry — but he was in no way faith­ful to the Fuji from the games. And the Fuji from the Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial man­ga sucked because he’s such a insignif­i­cant char­ac­ter that real­ly had noth­ing to do with Mewt­wo at all.

Also, he gives Red the Mega Stones and seems to have knowl­edge of the lore of the Kalos region. This sup­ports my pre­vi­ous the­o­ry that Fuji will have some sort of role in XY. But I digress.

MOE ON MY MIND

Reina’s such a cute char­ac­ter! It seems the the­o­ry I post­ed on Bul­ba­gar­den when she was first added to the char­ac­ter page was spot-on — she’s a meld of both the NPC that lives with Karakara and Fuji’s grand­daugh­ter.

While I did like her pres­ence, there’s one female that SORELY need­ed to be in this spe­cial:

Dat skirt, dem socks

BLUE/LEAF!

Why? Why does Game Freak hate her so? Despite being an option­al Play­er Char­ac­ter, she’s ren­dered non-exis­tent in the game’s canon, is not fea­tured in any oth­er con­ti­nu­ity besides two man­ga series (one being a gag series and the oth­er being Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial), and might effec­tive­ly be replaced by Ser­e­na as Satoshi’s (and by exten­sion, Shigeru’s?) child­hood friend in the upcom­ing XY ani­me series (I’m not gonna both­er too much with it unless it real­ly impress­es me…).

And no, don’t even start with “this ani­me is based on RED AND GREEN”, “not FIRERED AND LEAFGREEN”. Ter­ri­ble log­ic. They used the FireRed/LeafGreen char­ac­ter designs (aside from the Zukan/Pokedex and Takeshi) and incor­po­rat­ed aspects of XY into the spe­cial. If they real­ly were doing a strict adap­ta­tion of Red and Green, the char­ac­ters would have looked more like their 1997 ani­me coun­ter­parts, which used the Gen­er­a­tion I designs.

This shot is glorious

Red’s Lizardon against Green’s Kamex… it was­n’t a bad bat­tle alone, I sup­pose, but it pales in com­par­i­son to how anoth­er con­ti­nu­ity han­dled the “Red’s starter vs. Green’s starter” bat­tle. That is, the orig­i­nal ani­me, which had the very same set. The ver­sion of Red there, Satoshi, actu­al­ly found a unique and kick­ass strat­e­gy that man­aged to turn the tides of bat­tle despite the type dis­ad­van­tage against Shigeru’s Kamex. Here, Red is bom­bard­ing Green’s Kamex with a bunch of fire attacks and fin­ished it off with Dai­mon­ji (Fire Blast). Not… very impres­sive, despite the pret­ty visu­als.

I love see­ing at least one ani­mat­ed instance of a Play­er Char­ac­ter becom­ing Cham­pi­on, though. The Hall of Fame scene was absolute­ly glo­ri­ous.

MASACHIKU ICHIMURA IS CRYING

:/

Red’s bat­tle with Mewt­wo was com­plete bull­shit. As cool as Mega Lizardon X looks, you can’t pos­si­bly con­vince me that it could curb­stomp Mewt­wo.

Not only that, but Mewt­wo as a char­ac­ter is ter­ri­bly under­whelm­ing com­pared to the Mewt­wo char­ac­ters from oth­er canons. Mewt­wo (Masachiku Ichimu­ra), from the Japan­ese (not butchered/dubbed) orig­i­nal ani­me writ­ten by Takeshi Shu­do, had an interesting/tragic back­sto­ry and had con­sid­er­able depth as both an antag­o­nist and an ally. Com­pared to his pre­vi­ous ani­me adap­ta­tion, this Mewt­wo is tru­ly under­whelm­ing. Per­haps it would have helped if he had at least spo­ken — they kept its back­sto­ry with Mr. Fuji from the games, and it’s a real­ly inter­est­ing back­sto­ry — but the char­ac­ter itself lacks per­son­al­i­ty com­pared to his cross-canon brethren. The Mewt­wo from Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial also start­ed talk­ing, with the writ­ers tak­ing cues from the 1997/1998 ani­me char­ac­ter because it was so well-done.

Masachiku Ichimu­ra gave a per­fect ren­di­tion of what I imag­ined Game Mewt­wo to sound like in Melee (and it’s total­ly dif­fer­ent from his per­for­mance as Takeshi Shu­do’s Mewt­wo!). Why could­n’t they have done that?

Not an inter­est­ing final antag­o­nist at all. But at least it’s eas­i­er to stom­ach than the fem­i­nine, walk­ing-plot­hole of an unin­ter­est­ing attempt at a tsun­dere that the new Mewt­wo from the Extreme­Speed Gene­sect: Mewt­wo Awak­ens movie is. Takeshi Shu­do is rolling in his grave.

This is the best shot I ever took!

My final sto­ry-relat­ed gripe is the com­plete lack of expla­na­tion as to why Red is on Mt. Sil­ver (or, since this is sup­posed to be “Gen I” nos­tal­gia, por­tray the col­lapse of Hana­da Cave). I refuse to believe that this boy left his moth­er alone and lone­ly at home for three years for a gener­ic excuse such as train­ing. We already have enough of a child’s dis­re­gard for the feel­ings of their (only) par­ent in the cur­rent incar­na­tion of Red’s ani­me ver­sion, Satoshi (who, was pre­vi­ous­ly char­ac­ter­ized as actu­al­ly giv­ing a shit about his mom when­ev­er he had the chance). We don’t need it for a Red that’s sup­pos­ed­ly a clos­er rep­re­sen­ta­tion to the game ver­sion.

Over­all, despite some of my neg­a­tive com­ments towards this spe­cial, I REALLY enjoyed it oth­er­wise. It’s much eas­i­er to watch than the cur­rent Pock­et Mon­sters ani­me, which is only a shell of its for­mer self. One thing I must note is that this is cer­tain­ly not canon to the games, as cer­tain things are changed to the point where it can’t sim­ply be the canon ver­sion of the game’s events with accept­able lib­er­ties. I liked the hid­den depths Sakak­i’s char­ac­ter had as the Rock­et Gang boss in this spe­cial, but his char­ac­ter­i­za­tion here real­ly con­tra­dicts his event from HeartGold/SoulSilver. Over­all, it’s a nice lit­tle spe­cial for fans that man­ages to pro­vide a load of nos­tal­gic fanser­vice to those played the Gen­er­a­tion I games, but it cer­tain­ly isn’t the god­send of a Pock­et Mon­sters ani­me peo­ple were hop­ing for.

To end this off, I’ll do a 1997 vs. 2013 char­ac­ter rank­ing, just for fun.

Shudo VS. The Origin!

Orig­i­nal Satoshi / Ani­me Red = Ori­gin Red
Orig­i­nal Shigeru / Ani­me Green > Ori­gin Green
Takeshi = Ori­gin Takeshi
Kasu­mi > Ori­gin Kasu­mi
Nat­sume > Ori­gin Nat­sume
Eri­ka < Ori­gin Eri­ka (she retains her sleepy moe game char­ac­ter)
Saka­ki > Ori­gin Saka­ki
Dr. Fuji = Mr. Fuji
Dr. Orchid > Ori­gin Dr. Orchid (eccen­tric old men are more amus­ing)
Hanako/Satoshi’s mama > Red’s mama (Hanako is spunky; Red’s mama only appeared for like, 10 sec­onds. Not gonna lie, she’s just as hot.)
Shu­do Mewt­wo > Ori­gin Mewt­wo (eas­i­ly)

The Gym Lead­ers (oth­er than Takeshi and Saka­ki) on the left get an easy win most­ly because the ones on the right don’t get any speak­ing roles oth­er than a game textbox (I’m seri­ous!) with­in quick mon­tages.

As for the OST — the only tracks that stood out to me were the orig­i­nal stuff (such as the vic­to­ry theme played when­ev­er Red is turn­ing the tides) and the Silph Co. theme. I’ve already heard bet­ter remix­es of the game music from the 1997 ani­me series:

I wonder who's the better Lass. The one from The Origin or Seiyo from episode 9 of the 1997 anime?

Image Cred­it: raemz from Pix­iv.

(Bul­ba­gar­den com­ments)

17 thoughts on “Pocket Monsters THE ORIGIN — Final Impressions

  1. Hon­est­ly I have no prob­lem with it .
    Poke­mon The Ori­gin did well for only a 4 episode spe­cial .
    Unlike , ““Best Wish” that had enor­mous amount of time but the Ani­me decide to rush every­thing for a pathet­ic jour­ney call Da Jour­ney !!!
    Hon­est­ly Red seem so much alive & real com­pare to cur­rent Ash .
    Actu­al­ly , All the char­ac­ter from the spe­cial seem more real com­pare to BW Series char­ac­ter.
    And That girl from Brock Gym seem to have more per­son­al­i­ty then all BW Series girl.
    I almost wish to see a girl like her in XY Series .
    Poke­mon The Ori­gin obvi­ous­ly has much bet­ter script then BW Series.
    And sur­pris­ing­ly Red’s mom look’s much more pret­ti­er then Ash’s mom .

    1. @rebe­lious: Clear­ly, I even men­tioned it being high­ly prefer­able than the cur­rent incar­na­tions of the Poke­mon ani­me. But it still lacks in a lot of areas and could have been bet­ter. I liked the Ori­gin ver­sion of Red because he was pret­ty live­ly, but holy crap did they make him look bad with that “steal­ing Nido­ran” thing. Unnec­es­sary throw­backs to new­bie playthroughs…
      As for Red’s mom being hot­ter than Satoshi’s mom, I dis­agree, they’re both pret­ty nice ladies. If you look close­ly, you can see that Red’s mom is just an import/style con­ver­sion of Satoshi’s mom into Ori­gin (right­ful­ly so…).

  2. I think your review was quite an inter­est­ing read due to your broad­er expo­sure to the fran­chise. I think this Spe­cial will be over­ly lav­ished with praise by the fan­dom for not only pan­der­ing to Gen I fans, but also because it was some­thing vast­ly dif­fer­ent to the cur­rent ani­me we have. Pret­ty much how the man­ga Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial is over­praised for being so “Dark” and “Mature” when it was just the fans over­com­pen­sat­ing for the fact that the ani­me did­n’t grow up with them.

    Reina’s such a cute char­ac­ter!”

    This, Reina-chan is adorable!

    Why? Why does Game Freak hate her so? Despite being an option­al Play­er Char­ac­ter, she’s ren­dered non-exis­tent in the game’s canon, is not fea­tured in any oth­er con­ti­nu­ity besides two man­ga series (one being a gag series and the oth­er being Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial), and might effec­tive­ly be replaced by Ser­e­na as Satoshi’s (and by exten­sion, Shigeru’s?) child­hood friend in the upcom­ing XY ani­me series (I’m not gonna both­er too much with it unless it real­ly impress­es me…).

    And no, don’t even start with “this ani­me is based on RED AND GREEN”, “not FIRERED AND LEAFGREEN”. Ter­ri­ble log­ic. They used the FireRed/LeafGreen char­ac­ter designs (aside from the Zukan/Pokedex and Takeshi) and incor­po­rat­ed aspects of XY into the spe­cial. If they real­ly were doing a strict adap­ta­tion of Red and Green, the char­ac­ters would have looked more like their 1997 ani­me coun­ter­parts, which used the Gen­er­a­tion I designs.”

    I’ve always felt sor­ry for the poor girl when you real­ly think about it. Now cor­rect me if I am wrong, but was­n’t she sup­posed to be in the orig­i­nal Red, Blue, and Green games as a playable char­ac­ter but was tak­en out at the last sec­ond due to lack of mem­o­ry?

    The only sub­stan­tial nar­ra­tive I can come up with for Blue/Leaf/Midori is the Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial man­ga. The Ruby and Sap­phire man­ga did­n’t do as much with her as a char­ac­ter.

    I also secret­ly wished that Game­F­reak would have put Blue on top of Mt Sil­ver in Heart­Gold and Soul­Sil­ver if you chose Kotone as your main char­ac­ter. It would make sense because of the ret­con­ning of Fir­eRed and Leaf­Green super­sed­ing the orig­i­nal Red, Blue, and Green games. Not to men­tion that by Gen IV, the tech­nol­o­gy of the games had evolved enough that they could have put her in the game if they real­ly want­ed to. So there’s no excuse this time around for “Lack of Mem­o­ry”.

    Poor Blue/Leaf/Midori you are the neglect­ed child of Game­F­reak.

    1. @TsukuyomiMagi99: Glad you enjoyed the review!
      I think this Spe­cial will be over­ly lav­ished with praise by the fan­dom for not only pan­der­ing to Gen I fans, but also because it was some­thing vast­ly dif­fer­ent to the cur­rent ani­me we have. Pret­ty much how the man­ga Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial is over­praised for being so “Dark” and “Mature” when it was just the fans over­com­pen­sat­ing for the fact that the ani­me didn’t grow up with them.
      Agreed. The big­ger pic­ture isn’t often seen because of this over­com­pen­sa­tion.
      I do give this spe­cial cred­it for the trag­ic bru­tal death of Gara­gara. We haven’t seen that kind of darkness/implication since the orig­i­nal ani­me (I don’t count the Lucario movie, because while it was sad and very well-done, it was­n’t very bru­tal and was more bit­ter­sweet than down­right heart­break­ing).

      I’ve always felt sor­ry for the poor girl when you real­ly think about it. Now cor­rect me if I am wrong, but wasn’t she sup­posed to be in the orig­i­nal Red, Blue, and Green games as a playable char­ac­ter but was tak­en out at the last sec­ond due to lack of mem­o­ry?
      Yeah, or at least that’s what peo­ple claim. She was even present in some ear­ly Sug­i­mori sketch­es. Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial and one short Origa­mi man­ga used this as the basis for their ver­sions of Blue.
      Blue/Leaf seri­ous­ly need­ed some atten­tion in The Ori­gin if they weren’t going to give her jus­tice in any of the games. It’s just fur­ther proof that Game Freak has it out for her.
      (By the way, her name would­n’t be “Midori” as that’s Green in Japan­ese. ^^;;)

  3. Ichimu­ra Mewt­wo: 私は オペラ座の怪人 (sor­ry if there’s a mis­take. I used a trans­la­tor)

    Ori­gin Mewt­wo:

  4. I apol­o­gize for leav­ing anoth­er com­ment on this top­ic and this is prob­a­bly going to sound redun­dant but it needs to be said. I think this spe­cial will make the major­i­ty of Red fans even more obnox­ious then they already are. Its not bad enough that it has to be con­stant­ly explained that these are DIFFERENT canons, but the spe­cial has also giv­en Red fans an even big­ger rea­son to look down on ani­me Red or Satoshi to the point where I feel sor­ry for him. It’s not his fault that he has poor writ­ers and is used as a mar­ket­ing tool.

    Here’s an exam­ple of what I am talk­ing about this com­ment comes from youtube with 20 upvotes.

    red did what ash could­n’t in a series with­in 4 episodes.”

    Its times like this I won­der why I am part of this fan­dumb.

    1. @TsukuyomiMagi99: Dis­cus­sion is more than wel­come here. 😛
      Yes, the inter­na­tion­al fan­dom tends to get real­ly stu­pid like that. The com­par­i­son is quite flawed, espe­cial­ly since Ori­gin is quite (and I mean QUITE) abridged and seems to work a lot dif­fer­ent­ly. Becom­ing Cham­pi­on and win­ning bat­tles in gen­er­al seem quite unspec­tac­u­lar in The Ori­gin — every­one are chumps if you train only one Poke­mon to smash through every­thing. They also fail to real­ize that whether the guy is named Red or Satoshi, it does­n’t mat­ter if he’s writ­ten by ter­ri­ble writ­ers who only care about mar­ket­ing. The per­pet­u­al stu­pid­i­ty on YouTube just tends to aug­ment it.
      Com­pare this to the Japan­ese fan­dom, where I’ve already seen fanart on Pix­iv of Origin!Red and Anime!Red/Satoshi get­ting along per­fect­ly fine (com­pare this to the inter­na­tion­al mind­set that the for­mer looks down on the lat­ter).
      It’s reas­sur­ing that there are fans like us though. I agree that it’s depress­ing being in this fan­dom some­times — peo­ple tend to be rather sim­ple­mind­ed and well… just facepalm-wor­thy. Search “Satoshi Tajiri” on Google. A lot of the pic­tures aren’t actu­al­ly Satoshi Tajiri, it’s Tsunekaz Ishi­hara. That’s right, these stu­pid fans don’t even know what the cre­ator of their beloved fran­chise looks like! Ugh.

  5. First off I’d like to say that I find your avatar of Akarin from Yuru Yuri to be very cute. 🙂

    Sec­ond­ly, I’d like to make one last com­plaint if you don’t mind. Its a bit off-top­ic relat­ing to the ori­gin, but it was some­thing I meant to say in my pre­vi­ous post but for­got to.

    Its not that Red fans just look down on Satoshi despite him and Red being the same char­ac­ter in a dif­fer­ent uni­vers­es but they also look down on the oth­er main char­ac­ters in the game can­non. Which is sad because Mei-tan and Hikari-chan are my two favorite char­ac­ters in the series (I am one of those types of guys who plays as the cute girl in my Poke­mon games).

    If you take a look at Blue/Leaf (who is down­right shunned), Hibiki/Kris/Kotone, Yuuki/Haruka, Koki/Hikari, Touya/Touko, Kyouhei/Mei,and Calem/Serena not only have they done the exact same things that Red has done (since the games pret­ty much fol­low the same exact for­mu­la) but have actu­al­ly eclipsed him in terms of accom­plish­ments. For exam­ple until Gen VI, Kyouhei/Mei had defeat­ed the strongest drag­on Poke­mon in exis­tence whose pow­er was only rivaled by Arceus almighty (In oth­er words, a Drag­on whose Pow­er sur­pass­es the Gods of Time, Space, and Anti­mat­ter). And they defeat­ed Kyurem with­out the help of any leg­endary Poke­mon but did they get any cred­it for what they did?

    No, they did­n’t get any cred­it and Red is still praised as the Paragon of Poke­mon train­ers. If you real­ly want to see the bas­tion of stu­pid­i­ty in the Poke­mon fan­dom go onto any Game­faqs Poke­mon forum and you’ll see what I mean. Fair warn­ing though is that this forum will give you brain can­cer if you try to use rea­son and com­mon sense with these peo­ple.

    I apol­o­gize if you’re a Red fan your­self because it is not my intent to make Red look bad. What he did accom­plish for his time was amaz­ing and I thought it was real­ly awe­some to fight him on top of Mt. Sil­ver, but say­ing he’s the great­est thing since sliced bread is stu­pid and not giv­ing any cred­it to those that came after and sur­passed him in terms of achieve­ments is bla­tant igno­rance.

    Final­ly a lit­tle triv­ia, Touya/Touka were pro­grammed into the beta ver­sion of the Poke­mon Black and White 2 game to par­tic­i­pate in the PWT for which they are called “The strongest train­er in exis­tence!”

    I won­der how Red fans will look at that?

    1. @TsukuyomiMagi99: You’re right. Red is pret­ty over­rat­ed in the fan­dom. I’m a fan of him and his cross-canon coun­ter­parts, but his fan­dom is way too obnox­ious for me to asso­ciate with them. Espe­cial­ly the ones that flan­der­ize his char­ac­ter­i­za­tion by pro­mot­ing his exag­ger­at­ed Pix­iv fanarts.
      Yeah, I’ve heard of those unused text strings in Black 2 and White 2. In my opin­ion, all of the Play­er Char­ac­ters are the strongest train­ers in canon, but I can imag­ine Red fan­boys going crazy over the line.
      @Mike: While I would­n’t call it faith­ful since there is still quite a few lib­er­ties, I agree that it was the great fanser­vice throw­back to us kids who grew up dur­ing the 90s. I also agree that while Ori­gin Mewt­wo was cer­tain­ly lack­ing, espe­cial­ly in com­par­i­son to Takeshi Shu­do’s Mewt­wo from the orig­i­nal ani­me’s Mewt­wo Strikes Back, it’s a much bet­ter por­tray­al than the one in M16.
      Ichimu­ra repris­ing his role as Mewt­wo in SSB4 would make me a lit­tle hap­pi­er after the M16 fias­co. I do hope that Eng­lish fans get a voice actor for it this time around, since the Eng­lish ver­sion of SSBM Mewt­wo was reg­u­lat­ed to Ichimu­ra’s grunts (unless you switch it to Japan­ese).

  6. I actu­al­ly real­ly enjoyed both The Ori­gin and Mewt­wo Strikes Back (in Japan­ese), even though nei­ther of them is a bona fide mas­ter­piece. Both of them are good in their own way, and are leagues bet­ter than the cur­rent ani­me series.
    The Ori­gin is sim­ply a faith­ful adap­ta­tion of Red/Green — no com­plex plot/story devel­op­ment, just lots of action and Lizardon fanser­vice for ’90s kids (along with inten­tion­al aver­sion of many peo­ple’s gripes with the reg­u­lar ani­me), and I hap­pen to be a huge Lizardon fan.
    Mean­while, Mewt­wo Strikes Back brought us the orig­i­nal Mewt­wo, who might pos­si­bly be the great­est Poké­mon char­ac­ter of all time, and gave him a deep, trag­ic back­sto­ry and a com­pelling per­son­al­i­ty so that adults watch­ing the movie could enjoy it as much as the chil­dren who dragged them along (too bad one can’t say the same about the 4Kids dub).
    I agree com­plete­ly that Ori­gins Mewt­wo is noth­ing com­pared to the orig­i­nal, but is leagues bet­ter than M16 female Mewt­wo. Still, as long as the Mewt­wo in SSB4 ISN’T M16 Mewt­wo, I’ll be hap­py. But I’d love for Ichimu­ra’s Mewt­wo to return, espe­cial­ly if they can give him a prop­er Eng­lish voice actor with full dia­logue (maybe Dan Green again).

  7. Ori­gins was hit and miss with me. On the one hand, I’m glad to see some­thing akin to what Takeshi Shu­do orig­i­nal­ly want­ed with the ani­me before it took a nose­dive into the hor­ri­ble dri­v­el it is today. There are a lot of strong points towards the Ori­gin in that it has a bit more mature tone (but sad­ly this does­n’t allow for com­e­dy which also detracts from it). While Red and Ash/Satoshi are rel­a­tive­ly the same char­ac­ter in per­son­al­i­ty, I lean more favor­ably towards Red in this series in that he had a more con­se­quen­tial pres­ence in this world (Ash/Satoshi was for the most part incon­se­quen­tial toward any­thing going on in the world aside from the Orange Island arc and sad­ly it’s got­ten worse as the series pro­gressed) how­ev­er they don’t allow Red to have too comedic a per­son­al­i­ty along­side the more badass scenes in the last two episodes which detracts a lit­tle from his char­ac­ter. Also the series is too abridged to leave a last­ing impact, even if this OVA feels like a breath of fresh air com­pared to the cur­rent show.

    This may be a tan­gent but note that not all Red fans are annoy­ing and big­ot­ed. I enjoy Red as much as Ash from both the Kan­to and Orange Island arcs how­ev­er the issue with cur­rent Ash/Satoshi isn’t that he’s so poor­ly writ­ten but also the fact that he will not leave. Even if they were to give Ash/Satoshi a more lik­able char­ac­ter and a more fleshed out, his pres­ence in the show has been too long to where he’s not only become stale but any changes at this point will feel like betray­ing the char­ac­ter. Red’s mem­o­rable in that he isn’t every­where in the series how­ev­er the impact he leaves as the “silent sto­ic” type that Gold/Silver/Crystal intro­duced will last with most fans for a while. Even then he isn’t the only great char­ac­ter the games have to offer (to be hon­est, I love both Dia­mond and Pearl’s char­ac­ter from the DP arc of Poke­Spe more than Red in all cross-canon mate­r­i­al).

    1. @LioSKETCH: I see what you mean. Satoshi real­ly should have had a final con­fronta­tion with the Rock­et Gang. In ret­ro­spect, the only real point where Satoshi diverges from his Ori­gin coun­ter­part (and a num­ber of his fel­low Red cross-canon coun­ter­parts for that mat­ter) is actu­al­ly end­ing his jour­ney and defeat­ing his respec­tive antag­o­nist, which he nev­er gets to do. Instead, about 15 years lat­er, the infe­ri­or degen­er­at­ed ver­sion of Satoshi final­ly con­fronts Saka­ki and los­es dis­grace­ful­ly…
      You should check out the Japan­ese ver­sions of the third movie and also the Mewt­wo Spe­cial (Takeshi Shu­do’s final “present” as main writer, if you will). Satoshi, as a “shounen”-esque pro­tag­o­nist, is at his peak of lik­a­bil­i­ty in those. The third movie itself is also a good exam­ple of how the ani­me should be writ­ten all-around, so it’s worth a watch. Though it’ll make you feel a bit depressed with how the ani­me’s become in mod­ern times. Heck, that even hap­pens if you watch the very first episode of the orig­i­nal ani­me and then catch an episode of XY… it’s like they’re two dif­fer­ent shows. And the very first episode def­i­nite­ly made you feel like the series had a direc­tion and des­ti­na­tion at some point that was lost along the way.
      It real­ly makes me wish a remake were pos­si­ble, fol­low­ing what Takeshi Shu­do orig­i­nal­ly intend­ed (and incor­po­rat­ing inter­est­ing ele­ments from his short nov­el series that actu­al­ly adds some depth to the set­ting and back-sto­ries). The first three (non-butchered) movies are a good idea of what even the series could have been if he was giv­en free reign.

  8. @LioSKETCH

    Fair enough, I don’t have a prob­lem with more mod­er­ate Red fans. As you’ll see in my pre­vi­ous post, its their blind wor­ship of him as some sort of God that I have a prob­lem with. To the point where they neglect and ignore any achieve­ments any of the oth­er char­ac­ters accom­plish. I too was around when the orig­i­nal Gold and Sil­ver games came out and faced off against Red. I thought it was the coolest shit for its time. How­ev­er unlike most hard­core Red fans I moved on and accept­ed the fact that each char­ac­ter trumps the pre­vi­ous one in terms of accom­plish­ments.

    As for Satoshi, I real­ly wished that they stuck to Shu­do’s vision and made him the cham­pi­on at the end of the Kan­to saga. Because now he’s become noth­ing but a walk­ing adver­tise­ment. I am not sick of him, I am sick of the way they write his char­ac­ter. He has­n’t been inter­est­ing to me since the end of the DP arc.

    1. @TsukuyomiMagi99: The Satoshi nowa­days feels like a shad­ow of how he was orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten. As you said, he’s noth­ing more than a walk­ing adver­tise­ment now, and you can pret­ty much tell how they’ve mod­i­fied his char­ac­ter to suit that need. I lit­er­al­ly can­not see Shudo!Satoshi and XY Satoshi as the same char­ac­ter out­side of some very bare­bone char­ac­ter traits. As I’ve said before, along­side that, he has been dulled and Flan­der­ized to the point where I can no longer look at him in the show any­more with­out cring­ing (if there’s any­thing I miss from the orig­i­nal episodes of the ani­me, it has to be Satoshi). The last time I could even do that was around the end of DP. For exam­ple, back in the Shu­do days, Satoshi’s “stu­pid­i­ty” was due to imma­tu­ri­ty. He knew what the basic con­cept of love was. He liked girls. He knew he had to release his pre­cious But­ter­free because he knew that it want­ed to mate and have a fam­i­ly with the one it loves. He also nev­er real­ly had any prob­lem fol­low­ing expla­na­tions and stuff from Cot­D’s, even if they had noth­ing to do with Poke­mon. He was­n’t a char­ac­ter with much com­plex­i­ty by any means, but there were plen­ty of episodes that por­trayed his emotions,so he actu­al­ly felt human. Now it feels like they’re forc­ing them­selves to write him to be men­tal­ly-chal­lenged in order to fit a reusable char­ac­ter mold for a throw­away kid’s show. His inner feel­ings aren’t explored much at all, and they just throw “IDIOT HERO ARCHETYPE” all up in your face that it’s start­ing to become obnox­ious. In one of the only XY episodes I watched, he even had trou­ble keep­ing up with the sim­plest CotD expla­na­tions… it’s like he’s a ter­ri­ble ver­sion of Luffy now. Also, Shudo!Satoshi had a much more amus­ing per­son­al­i­ty, if one at all.
      There was an argu­ment I post­ed on BMGf recent­ly where I stat­ed how it’s a prob­lem either way with hav­ing one pro­tag­o­nist in the type of action/adventure ani­me PM is try­ing to be, for all the wrong rea­sons, with­out an even­tu­al end no mat­ter how long you’re going. Once the main char­ac­ter reach­es the thresh­old of pow­er and devel­op­ment — what are they going to do? Keep him stale? Reset him again? There has to be an end. Some­times keep­ing a char­ac­ter’s self-respect means end­ing their jour­ney while they’re ahead instead of milk­ing and Flan­der­iz­ing them.

  9. @Mikoto

    I sus­pect that’s the rea­son adver­tis­ers and the writ­ers retard Satoshi’s growth. Since devel­op­ing him and hav­ing him mature into the role of a Poke­mon Mas­ter Train­er and then devel­op­ing a unique char­ac­ter from scratch for a new sto­ry is a lot more dif­fi­cult. I also believe it’s good for the cor­po­rate bot­tom­line since they can sim­ply just rehash the ani­me to a new gen­er­a­tion of kids thus keep­ing the cycle con­tin­u­ing ad infini­tum.

    It does a dis­ser­vice to not only vet­er­an fans of the fran­chise but towards chil­dren as well. Its cru­cial that kids receive qual­i­ty enter­tain­ment so they can learn to appre­ci­ate good sto­ry­telling.

    This is why I think Red vs Satoshi debates are point­less. Out­side of the obvi­ous rea­sons, Red has the lux­u­ry of clo­sure due to the fact he isn’t inhib­it­ed by cor­po­rate greed that keeps fuck­ing up his goals. Its only when there isn’t any cor­po­rate prof­it to be gained (Orange Islands or Bat­tle Fron­tier for exam­ple) is when they take the shack­les off of him.

    That’s why I had one shred of hope dur­ing the DP saga since he seemed to become quite pow­er­ful. More of his Poke­mon evolved and grew in char­ac­ter, while writ­ing IMO, the best rival the show has ever had with Shin­ji. And when he had the pow­er to take out two Leg­endary Poke­mon some­thing no else could do, and fin­ished the high­est he’s ever achieved I had hope. Hell, if it was­n’t for Taku­to, he would’ve final­ly been cham­pi­on.

    So after all that, to see him regress yet AGAIN was tru­ly dis­heart­en­ing. It was then that I threw my hands up and said that this isn’t worth it.

    Final­ly, yeah I know what you mean about how Shu­do’s Satoshi had heart. At the end of the day, both the char­ac­ters and Poke­mon under Shu­do’s direc­tion had heart.

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